The Transport Ministry is encouraging drivers to replace their old licence plates with ones displaying QR codes in a bid to curb the use of fake plates in the Kingdom.
Minister Sun Chanthol during a discussion on traffic safety in Phnom Penh on Tuesday said the Ministry of Finance was asked to provide financial support in making QR code plates more readily available so authorities can easily manage data, protect against fraud and conduct investigations.
“Drivers who still use old licence plates, please come and change them with ones displaying QR codes,” Mr Chanthol said. “It is free, our government will spend about $3 million…to make this work.”
He said at some point the authorities will require all licence plates to display QR codes.
“It is a gift from the government,” Mr Chanthol added.
The ministry in 2017 began replacing conventional licence plates with ones displaying QR codes.
The Transport Ministry in a report obtained yesterday said only 1.4 million licence plates display QR codes out of 5.1 million registered vehicles.
It added there are currently 790,342 automobiles on the road, but only 292,119 of them are equipped with QR code plates.
Aun Bunhak, deputy general director of the Finance Ministry’s general department of state property, yesterday said his ministry received a letter from Mr Chanthol requesting for more than $3 million to support the licence plate initiative.
“We already received the request and we recently held a meeting about this issue,” Mr Bunhak said, noting he does not know when the funds will be approved. “The Transport Ministry requested for $3,126,853 to implement their work.”
Police recently arrested suspects over the production of fake licence plates displaying police, army and government tags.
On Wednesday, Phnom Penh Municipal Court charged six men accused of forging licence plates and selling them in Daun Penh district, while in April it tried a former government official for forging licence plates and driver’s licences and selling them to foreigners for $20 to $30 each.
In June, Kampot Provincial Court charged two men for using fake licence plates in Kampong Trach district.
San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, yesterday said issues surrounding fake licence plates must be addressed, but forcing motorists to adopt ones displaying QR codes is a waste of the national budget.
“The government wants QR codes on vehicle licence plates to prevent fake licence plates from being used,” Mr Chey said. “I think they should instead eliminate ‘RCAF’ and ‘police’ vehicle licence plates being used by individuals who protect offenders.”